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News at noon: Developer of proposed Bezu/Blue Lotus tower sue city of St. Petersburg; where are Florida's most affordable houses?; and more

Here are the top five latest headlines and updates on tampabay.com.
 
Published Jan. 24, 2019

Here are the top five latest headlines and updates on tampabay.com.

Developer of proposed Bezu/Blue Lotus tower sue city of St. Petersburg

Developers of the proposed Bezu/Blue Lotus condo tower in downtown St. Petersburg have filed a pair of lawsuits against the city, seeking to overturn a vote that dealt a potentially fatal blow to the 19-story, 18-unit tower. The Driven Ziggy LLC contends that the tower complies with city zoning and land use regulations and should not have been nixed by a 4-4 vote in December by the city council acting as the Community Redevelopment Agency. A majority vote was needed for approval.

Where are Florida's most affordable houses?

Looking for an affordable home? Look no further than parts of Tampa Bay. A ranking released this week by HomeArea.com found that three of the top five communities with the most affordable homes are in the bay area: Largo (No. 2), Riverview (No. 3) and Spring Hill (No. 4). The rankings were based on the most recent U.S. Census Bureau data on communities with a population of more than 60,000. randon (No. 12) and Town 'N Country (No. 13) also made the list's top 15. The Florida city with the most affordable housing was Deltona.

Ted Bundy was executed 30 years ago today. Three of his victims were from St. Petersburg.

Thirty years ago today — Jan. 24, 1989 — Ted Bundy was executed. He is one of the most notorious serial killers in U.S. history and bragged of having killed dozens of people. This year, a movie about Bundy starring Zac Efron as the killer is on the horizon. A Netflix documentary called "Conversations with a Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes" debuted today on Netflix. What some may not remember is that Bundy's long spree of violence ended in Florida. Some of his last documented crimes occurred here, as well as the trials that eventually led to his execution at the Florida State Prison near Starke.

Tampa Bay's grid is getting smarter. Here's how.

Tampa Bay's electrical grid isn't particularly "smart" right now. But over the next few years, it will get a lot more intelligent. The bay area's two dominant utilities are rolling out technology that they say will make the electrical infrastructure easier to manage, more resilient to outages and able to give customers more control over their energy use. One of the first major steps toward a smarter grid is installing smart electric meters on homes and businesses. Duke Energy Florida and Tampa Electric Co. are in the process of swapping out customers' current meters for updated ones.

Steven Stamkos might be playing his best hockey

Lightning captain Stamkos started out as a known goal scorer, but he's made a conscious effort to become more of a playmaker in the last year or two. It helped that last season he played with winger Nikita Kucherov, who started the year on a tear as a scorer. Kucherov suggested that took some attention away from Stamkos' own scoring. Now, on separate lines but the same power play, Stamkos has found a balance. His scoring is almost evenly split between goals and assists. When the season started, some wondered if Stamkos had peaked and would even reach 25 goals on the year. He has 26, one short of his total all of last year.

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